Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, celebrates National Fair Trade Awareness Month with a multitude of news announcements from household brand names to coincide with the Natural Products Expo East in Boston.
Fair Trade has generated significant momentum during in the United States. Ben & Jerry’s and Green & Black’s kicked-off the year by announcing they would convert 100 percent of their products to Fair Trade Certified? ingredients; Green Mountain Coffee converted two of its top iconic blends?Our Blend and Vermont Country Blend?to Fair Trade; certified coffee imports were up 25 percent and 47 percent of all imports were also organic; Fair Trade cooperative CECOVASA was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Cupping Competition; and the Fair Trade Towns USA campaign increased the number of official Fair Trade Towns from 13 to 20, including Boston.
And now SPINS, the first company to offer Natural Products sales data to the industry, has issued a report that builds on that strong foundation. SPINS reports that sales of Fair Trade Certified? products at grocery stores grew by 30 percent this year, to $140 million, lead by growth in packaged coffee (44 percent), and ready-to-drink tea and coffees (51 percent).(1) Other notable double-digit contributors include the refrigerated juices & functional beverages category that was introduced in 2009 (98 percent), carbonated beverages (38 percent), chocolate candy (29 percent), and shelf stable functional beverages (10 percent). Frozen desserts are up eight percent and teas are up four percent, with cocoa and hot chocolate as the only category to experience a decline, down eight percent.
This is yet more proof that even in tough economic times, consumers care. In 2009, the BBMG Conscious Consumer Report stated that three-fourths of consumers (77 percent) believe they can make a difference by buying products from socially and environmentally responsible companies, and two-thirds agreed that even in tough economic times it’s important to buy products with social and environmental benefits (4 point scale). And over half (51 percent) agreed that they are willing to pay more. (Source: Fair Trade USA)
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